20 Sep 2019

Behind the Success of Youth Entrepreneurship Symposium (YES) 2019

Youth Entrepreneurship Symposium (YES) ran on 7 and 8 September, an intensive two days of talks, workshops, hands-on learning and networking. I remember standing there in the audience, with my fellow committee members, and just thinking to myself, what a perfect setting – the thunderous applause of all the participants, the ecstatic smiles on the winners’ faces, and the immense pride on the faces of all the judges, speakers and mentors.

Of course, behind every event is a group of people working so hard behind-the-scenes to ensure everything runs smoothly. The committee for YES 2019 came together from all walks of life, with a common goal – to put together a meaningful and engaging event that would inspire aspiring youth entrepreneurs and equip them with practical skills.

Read on to find out more about their key takeaways as members of the youth executive committee for YES 2019!



Keng Koon, YES 2019 President

Keng Koon’s journey with YES was a very personal one. It all started in 2014, when he was a participant. Inspired deeply by all the speakers, that life-changing experience motivated him to step up and return as President of YES 2019, hoping to encourage more youths to learn more about and get started on their entrepreneurship journey.

Keng Koon described the entire journey planning and executing the event as exhilarating. He was heartened that despite all the committee members coming from different backgrounds, the team still managed to bond and understand each other over the past few months.

“During the planning period, it was not easy at all as we had to juggle our studies and YES. I’m so grateful to have such dedicated teammates and helpful advisors from nEbO, without whom this event would not be possible. This journey as President is extremely memorable and fulfilling!”


Javier Liu, YES 2019 Vice-President

As the Vice-President of YES 2019, Javier was given many opportunities to lead in the areas of programming, outreach and publicity. For the purpose of the event, he was able to make connections with various entrepreneurs from diverse fields. This led him to gain a broader perspective of what it truly means to be an entrepreneur by learning the stories and motivations behind their passion.

When asked to describe his most memorable moment, Javier shared that it was when he was given the chance to moderate a panel dialogue, facilitating a discussion amongst entrepreneurs on the differences between Online and Offline Businesses. “From the session, many learning points were brought up, which allowed many of the aspiring youth entrepreneurs to have a clearer understanding of how businesses work.”

At the end of his 5-month journey with YES 2019, his biggest takeaway is still the new friends and connections made. Aptly put, “The bonds and friendships made will go a long way in helping me to achieve my dreams in the future.”


Chern Lin, YES 2019 Head of Programmes

Chern Lin did not know what to expect when he first took up the role as Head of Programmes, as it was his first time organizing such a large-scale event. He still cannot believe that he and his team managed to pull off YES 2019 successfully, with the support of nEbO.

One thing that touched Chern Lin deeply was when the speakers he invited agreed to sacrifice their time and energy so willingly. Many of them were very established entrepreneurs and very busy people! “This really opened my eyes and showed me the true heart of entrepreneurship, as the speakers were so willing and eager to mentor the youth, just so they can share their mistakes made and rich experiences gained over the years,” he said.

Chern Lin also highlighted the other crucial lesson learnt – communication was of utmost importance when planning such a large-scale event.


Smit Ojha, YES 2019 Head of Finance & Sponsorship

Smit was a facilitator for YES 2018 and decided to return as part of the planning committee for YES 2019, taking on the responsibility for working on the event budget and sponsorship deck.

There would always be unexpected circumstances and last-minute changes that crop up during any event, and Smit had to handle situations that he was not prepared for. As Smit aptly put it, “It’s still possible to complete your tasks even if it’s not within your area of expertise. You have to approach the problem with a calm mind and believe in yourself.”


Ng Yiling, YES 2019 Head of Recruitment

Yiling highlighted that her experience during the planning of YES 2019 made her appreciate her team members’ effort and assistance when she had faced difficulties in certain areas of work.

She recalled a few instances where she was touched by her team’s gesture in helping one another despite having difficulties in managing several portions of the planning of the recruitment drive. “It is very encouraging to see everyone in the committee is helping one another, which made me realised that showing appreciation for one another is an important factor that leads to the success of the project.”


Heng Yi, YES 2019 Head of Facilitators

This is Heng Yi’s fifth time volunteering for YES. The YES “veteran” promptly stepped up to help anyone in need, and assisted the committee in any area they needed support in. He said, “I’m very thankful that all the facilitators for the event helped to ensure that all the events ran smoothly. All the facilitators really came together to overcome any last-minute changes together.”  

“I believe I speak on behalf of the entire committee when I say that this is not the end – YES 2019 will serve as a starting point for many of the aspiring entrepreneurs in the audience. Personally, I am inspired to see them chase their entrepreneurial dream, even though they may have fears and uncertainty.”


Head of Marketing, Isabella Tian

Planning YES was a fresh challenge for Isabella. As a volunteer Head of Marketing in YES 2019 Youth Committee, she worked closely with nEbO’s staff team throughout to gather inspiration and curate  a marketing plan to engage youth participation mostly through various media channels particularly online. As this is her first time being involved in such a large-scale event, she is very grateful for the guidance and opportunities offered by the advisors as she was able to let her creativity flow on a real-world platform.

Besides digital marketing skills, she picked up organisation and planning skill which she discovered was the most crucial part of the event. Together with the team, her work scope involved leading researches, proposing new ideas and crafting marketing content. She stressed the importance of communication when working in a team, as it enables one to solve issues more effectively and cooperate well with others.


Cheers to YES 2019, and here’s to the amazing journey we walked together the past five months!

Posted by YES Committee 2019 on 20 Sep 2019, 6:11 pm
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